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MWEMBESHI MINE PROJECT TO GO AHEAD DESPITE PROTESTS – COURT

AN Appeal to stop the proposed large-scale open-pit mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park, has been upheld by the Court of Appeals.

The Decision by the Court of Appeals sitting in Ndola effectively ends any challenges to Mwembeshi Resources’ proposal to open a Large Scale Open-pit Copper mine at the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Reports the Lusaka Times.

In a Judgement delivered by Justice Ngulube on behalf of the three panel Appeals Court bench, the Court ruled that the Appellant had 5 years and had been given numerous opportunities to rectify errors in the Appeal before the High Court but was lax and failed to do so until a change of legal representation in 2019.

The Court was adamant that the Appellant (David Ngwenyama) had been adequately represented by a senior lawyer (State Counsel H.H. Ndhlovu) from 2014 to 2019 before he decided to change Legal Counsel in 2019 and subsequently tried to rectify the errors in the Appeal.

In dismissing the Appeal, the Court of Appeals completely ignored the misconduct and failure to provide adequate representation by the original Appellants Lawyer which the Appellant tried to rectify in 2019 and a four (4) year delay by the High Court to rule on the case, from April 2015 to October,2019 that was the result of the error in the Appeal Process (failure to file a Record of Appeals) and delay in prosecuting the matter.

The Court of Appeals has therefore, followed the High Court in dismissing the Appeal on failure to follow procedure without considering the Appeal on its merits and has faulted the Appellant for failure to prosecute and delays in the Appeal.

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